Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



Dealing with Arson and False Fire Calls

  • Do not pile rubbish and trash next to the home or next to a building wall; when lit, this will also ignite the building; trash piles are the major source of fire by arson.
  • Keep cellar windows closed and locked; if an arsonist is at work, he could throw a lit torch into the basement and, if it ignites anything there, start a fire.
  • Keep garage doors, back entranceways, alleyway entrances and yard gates closed and locked; most arsonists are looking for fast ways to get into an area to throw a torch. Fences with locked gates are a good way to protect a home or other buildings.
  • Watch vacant homes and structures; they are favorite targets of the arsonist. Report to police anyone seen lurking inside or outside the structure.
  • Report to City Hall (and insist on action by the city, or preferably, the property owner or tenant) on any piles of trash and debris in the neighborhood or vacant structures which can be entered by someone. These are favorite ignition points for "set" fires. Trash piles, dumping of trash and allowing unoccupied structures to exist are not only eyesores, they are fire and safety hazards as well as health problems (and a bad place for children to play).
  • Remember the description (or name and address) of any children playing with sparklers or other fire torches; sparklers have been an arsonists' tool many times along with the barn-burner matches.
  • Teach children that false fire alarms are illegal, a danger to everyone on the street and to the firemen answering the call and could take away firemen and fire vehicles from a real fire somewhere else; these are not exciting pranks . . . these are real dangers.
  • Remember: protecting the arsonist or person giving false fire alarms is protecting someone who is a clear and present danger to your neighborhood and your personal safety. It is not a childish prank. It kills and injures people, burns up homes, destroys peoples' lives and belongings, forces many to move and deteriorates the neighborhood. It must be stopped and the best way is for people with information-to come forward and report it to police, be willing to be interviewed by the police or the fire marshal and willing, if necessary, to testify about what you know.  Back to top

Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo